Sossusvlei is in the southern part of Namibia, famous for its high red dunes carved by the wind. The dunes are really only red in the early morning, when the sun rises over them.
We went there in 2006, on our first long road trip together, in the Land Rover, getting up early to be at the gate by six, when the Sossusvlei gates open. We took a lot of photographs, as you may imagine. But this image is from the early evening, away from Sossusvlei proper; we had stopped by the roadside for a picnic, setting up the gas braai (BBQ) and the camping chairs and table. This tree, and the line of dunes behind it, had attracted our attention.
I have been experimenting, in B&W, with some of the images I took after dark, in Etosha, hoping to suggest something of the elusiveness, silence, otherness you sense when creatures materialise out of the shadows, and go about their business, before melting back into the darkness again.
All of this is work towards an ‘at home’ that Rob and I are planning for the fall, when we will hold an open-house event to show some of my pictures, along with some of the artefacts we brought back with us from our trip in April to South Africa and Namibia: for those who are interested, there will be items for purchase. More importantly, however, there will be wine, and snacks, and an opportunity just to say hi, to reconnect, to chat and relax and enjoy the last of the late summer.
Here are what I think are the two strongest night images, so far.
Following some comments I’ve received, I thought a note might be in order, on the aesthetic behind the black & white Etosha landscapes I posted last week. In deciding how to process and frame the images, I was very conscious of not wanting to produce the ‘Wuthering Heights’ effect, or even the Ansel Adams – I wanted to avoid the tropes of nature’s grandeur, its wildness, ruggedness, ‘otherness’ etcetera. When you look at the landscape in Etosha, especially around the Salt Pan, where we were, there’s nothing there. That’s the whole point, really. You really have to look to see it. And that’s what I wanted these pictures to show.
You know which photographs I mean, right? Its the series that includes this one.